By making a few small changes you can start saving power and money today.
Keep the heat in
Before you turn your heater on this winter, make sure your home retains heat. Around a third of a household’s heat can escape through gaps and cracks, so locate draughts and block them with door snakes, curtains and other seals.
Make sure you’re using the correct heating system for your space by checking the best heating systems for different living spaces. An extra layer of clothing and another blanket on your bed will also keep you comfortable in cooler months, so consider these easy options before you turn the heater up.
ACT NOW: Seal drafts, rug up and close doors to save up to 25% of your energy costs
DID YOU KNOW? If you use an air-conditioner for heating set it to 18-21°C in winter. Every degree outside of this range can add up to 10% to your heating costs.
Clean clothes the green way
Hot or warm cycles on your washing machine use a lot of energy, as do clothes dryers. You can make significant savings by switching to cold water for laundry and using nature’s own dryer, the outdoors. If you use the dryer, be sure to spin-dry clothes in the washing machine first. Also avoid overloading the dryer and clean the lint filter regularly. By using the clothes line even to partly dry clothes, you can reduce the time they need in the dryer time and make power and cost savings.
ACT NOW: Switch to cold water washing and use the sun and the wind to dry your laundry.
Don’t pour money down the drain
A leaking hot water system or tap can quickly drive your power consumption – and your bill – up, so fix leaks as quickly as possible. Shorter showers, low flow shower heads and solar hot water are also great ways to reduce your hot water consumption and save money without sacrificing comfort.
DID YOU KNOW? A dripping tap wastes around 2000 litres of water per month
ACT NOW: Fix dripping taps, take shorter showers and consider installing a solar hot water system. See Sydney Water's tips on checking for leaking pipes, taps and toilets.
Maintain your appliances
Keep appliances in good working order by keeping them maintained. Heaters and hot water systems are just some of the appliances that can cause significant increases in your household energy consumption if they are not working properly.
ACT NOW: For more information on maintaining and using your appliances more efficiently, visit energy.gov.au, a Federal Government initiative to help consumers live more sustainably.
Buy energy efficient appliances
National standards for energy efficiency are improving the environmental performance of appliances all the time. Upgrading to a more efficient appliance can save you energy, money, and reduce your carbon footprint. The No Interest Loan Schemes can help you purchase more efficient appliances.
ACT NOW: Learn about energy efficient appliances before you buy
Know what appliances you are running and when
A simple audit of your household can help you measure how much energy you are consuming and at what time of day. An audit is an effective way to:
• understand your energy usage
• make informed choices about when and how you use appliances
• identify easy power savings you can make that will help save you money
• know what to expect when the bill arrives.
To start saving on your energy bills, consider a home energy assessment. You can hire an accredited professional to come to your home to help identify where you can save, or you can assess your own home using a Save Power Kit. Parramatta, Kuring-Gai and Ryde councils offer home energy audits, and other councils, including Randwick and Hornsby, run sustainability workshops.
ACT NOW: The Save Power Kit is an easy way to assess your space so you can start saving energy. Head to a local library to borrow a free, fun and educational Save Power Kit to learn where you can reduce energy in your home.
Find out what your appliances are actually costing you
You might be surprised to discover which appliances in your home are contributing the most to your bill. Your computer may be consuming more power than common whitegoods and a games console on idle might be costing you more than running a fridge.
To calculate how much an electrical appliance is costing you to run each year, you need to know your energy rate(s), which is shown on your power bill in kilowatt hours (kWh), and the amount of power the product uses in kilowatts (kW), which is shown on the energy rating sticker on your product. With this information, you can check the energy consumption and running cost using the Smarter Choice calculator.
Switch off to save
It’s easy to forget to switch off appliances you aren’t using, but leaving them on standby can use up to seven percent of your power bill. Here are a few things you can switch off to start saving now: computer monitors; games consoles; TVs; modems; coffeemakers; phone and electronic device chargers not being used; lamps; spas; and pool pumps.
Consider switching for a better offer
The right energy offer can save you money, but it needs to suit your circumstances and consumption pattern. Be sure to read the fine print and check our advice before you agree to transfer your account. You should also be aware that commercial 'switch' services may not cover all retailers or all offers available.
ACT NOW: For free and independent comparison of energy offers, visit the Australian Energy Regulator's Energy Made Easy website.
Want more information? Download our factsheet Saving energy & water around the home (PDF).